Senior Feb Austin Kahn (2017.5) and senior Prasanna Vankina (2018) pose at the Blind Date With A Book Display in the Davis Family Library atrium.
Name: Katrina Spencer
Hometown: Los Angeles
Role at Middlebury: Literatures & Cultures Librarian
Time at Middlebury: 1 year, 10 days
Katrina, are you prepping a display… again?
Yes, I have a problem.
What’s it about?
My problem or the display?
I have an obsessive streak that is manifesting itself in this way. The display is a small celebration of Valentine’s Day. It’s called “Blind Date With A Book.” My former supervisor, Jessica Newman, at Steenbock Library at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, hipped me to it.
Doesn’t that kind of crowd the atrium?
Yes, we have a lot of great collections we want to highlight. Currently we have at least three temporary displays there: the Black History Month Display, the New England Review’s display, and Blind Date With A Book. (On the Upper Level, a display called “Hair Me Out” is being prepped, too. See if you can find it.)
The instructions for engaging with Blind Date With A Book read as follows: 1. Choose an item and unwrap it. 2. Take a selfie for Facebook, tagging
“Middlebury College Libraries.” 3. Check out your selection at the Circulation Desk.
What’s special about Blind Date With A Book?
Well, with this one, it’s only there for a limited time: February 11th- 19th. Many of the items are wrapped up so you can’t see what the title is and by unwrapping it, you make a small commitment of getting to know the work without knowing much about its content, hence the concept of a blind date. ;)
Take a selfie with the book you unwrap so we can show the match made in heaven on Facebook. Tag “Middlebury College Libraries.”
Also, don’t miss out on Special Collections’ (SC) awesome event, “DIY Valentine Event,” Tuesday February 13th. SC always has cool stuff.
The cover art for the film Chico & Rita, a Cuban love story..
As an aside, I noticed we didn’t have many love stories featuring people of color so that will launch some new acquisitions: Love and Basketball, Love Jones and Poetic Justice. The form at go.middlebury.edu/requests will allow you to make requests, too. For now, minimally, we have Chico & Rita. ;)
Who helped you to shape this?
You want me to name my accomplices?
Leanne Galletly did the wrapping. Marlena Evans supplied numerous items, the book cart and the heart-shaped decorations. Kat Cyr also added titles that would be thematically appropriate for the project. I. . . I am an endless source of ideas.
Is that why they hired you?
Maybe. That and the degree (MSLIS). And the willingness.
The Blind Date With A Book display in the Davis Family Library atrium
Can you give us a hint as to what lies beneath the wrapping?
- There may or may not be a classic work by a world famous South American writer there.
- There may or may not be a work dedicated to telling Muslim women’s stories of love.
- There may or may not be the story of two men falling in love and having to hide their intimacy from the world.
So who’s your Valentine?